Just 10 Days: 191 People Become Christians Through Basketball

By Becky Hill
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The Nigerian basketball courts weren't quite what the American college women were used to.

Grass was growing from many cracks in the concrete slab. One of the backboards needed a rim, and the court needed to be cleared of goat dung before they could play.

But the girls didn't come to Nigeria just to play basketball -- they came to tell others about Christ.

In Port Harcourt, "the education system is corrupt and flooded with cultic influence," says Debbie Fesler, a Campus Crusade staff member with Athletes in Action. People were losing hope, and there had been several suicides on school campuses. But the AIA team knew they could use sports to reach the Nigerians.

"We were a bunch of white girls playing a bunch of black boys most of the time, so naturally we gathered a crowd," says Debbie. During halftime, one player would tell her faith story to the crowd, and another person would explain how to become a Christian.

In just 10 days, 191 people indicated decisions to accept Christ, and 4,200 evangelistic brochures were passed out by the team.